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In this article, we’re sharing exclusive 24 ways for individuals and teams to improve work performance quicker than you could ever imagine.
It’s likely that you think that the only time you think about working on your performance is before the annual performance evaluation, you are not alone. Most of us today prefer to stay quiet and let someone else point out possible improvements in our work. The reason? Well, it’s a simpler choice.
However, let’s think about this carefully – you’re talented, you’re productive, and you’re good at your job, but how will you grow into it if you are not focusing on improving yourself?
No matter how skilled or productive you are, there’s always a possibility to do a job better than before. Keeping an eye on enhancing your skill set and exploring ways to learn something new is the initial step towards becoming a better version of yourself. It not only helps to increase your work performance but also creates potential opportunities for your professional development.
Considering the importance of constant and never-ending self-improvement, we’ve gathered a few work management tips to improve work performance that will surely go a long way towards boosting your performance and value in the workplace.
24 Surefire Ways to Improve Work Performance
1. Limit distractions
Do you know that interruptions cause employees to take 27% more time to complete a task, commit twice as many errors, and experience twice the anxiety?
Chatty colleagues, email notifications, noisy kids, domestic obligations, social media browsing, pointless limits, and internet surfing are some common workplace distractions. Whether you’re working remotely or from an office space, there are certain distractions that sabotage your efforts to improve work performance.
It’s important to keep such distractions at bay as these directly affect your productivity and focus, which in turn leads to delayed tasks and projects.
- Surround yourself with productive people in the workplace.
- Use a time tracking tool to track the time taken to complete different tasks.
- Set aside time in a day to check email notifications and social media updates.
- Take short breaks to relax and rejuvenate.
- If working remotely, set up your workstation at a quiet place in your home.
- Use noise-canceling headphones to block out the noise when working in an open-space environment.
- Cancel holding any unnecessary consultations.
2. Use the right tools
86% of employees cite a lack of collaboration or poor communication for workplace failures. This is where using powerful online collaboration software to improve the work performance of your employees can play a decisive role. Now that a huge number of working professionals are working remotely, the majority of organizations are embracing cloud-based tools and technology to streamline work processes and achieve more productivity.
- It should meet your business goals.
- It should offer you a list of features that your teams could benefit from days at work.
- Should be intuitive, easy to use, and has a simple learning curve.
- Should meet your budget.
- Check if there’s a free trial option that will help you use the tool to understand how it works.
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3. Plan and prioritize
Planning and prioritizing work is probably the most important way to improve work performance amid tight deadlines. There are chances that many people spend a significant amount of their time on low-priority or irrelevant tasks. As a result, they’re left with little time to work on urgent or high-priority tasks, which further delays task completion and project delivery. These are some simple workplace habits and time management tips that help you get things done in time and improve your overall work performance.
- Check the current status of all your tasks and figure out which ones are running behind set deadlines.
- Create a to-do list to define all you need to do in a day.
- Work on urgent or high-priority tasks first.
- Set time goals for tasks.
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4. Delegate tasks whenever possible
For individuals holding senior positions in the organization, task delegation is a proven method of improving work performance while trusting their subordinates to competently perform delegated work. Smart delegation is also counted among the most important managerial skills that help manners alleviate their workload and focus on other more important activities within a project.
Not sure how to delegate tasks effectively to peers? Read on to have your questions answered.
- Identify your employee’s strengths and assign tasks accordingly.
- Map out which tasks to delegate and which ones require your expertise.
- Embrace a powerful task management tool.
- Delegate both authority and responsibility.
- Stay involved but don’t micromanage.
- Be open to new ideas of performing a task differently.
👉 Find out how to delegate tasks effectively.
5. Communicate better
Alright, this one’s a brainer. Communication can make or break your work performance. Maintaining swift, timely communication is all the more important as it brings clarity regarding things to be done, and how to do them, and keeps everyone updated on all activities within the project. Good communication avoids important information falling through the cracks and ensures that tasks and projects are completed on time, as per set quality standards.
- Set clear goals and expectations with your team members.
- Schedule regular one-on-one meetings.
- Praise in public, criticize in private.
- If there is a conflict or misunderstanding, confront it ASAP to settle the dust.
- Use communication tools like Instant chat, Discussions, Real-time notifications, etc, to convey the right information at the right time.
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6. Improve your time management
Do you find yourself chasing deadlines more often than not? Are you carrying your work home just to avoid project delivery delays? If yes then you need to improve your time management skills to accomplish daily, weekly and monthly responsibilities quickly and effectively. Also, you need to make sure that you are investing your valuable work time on the right tasks instead of wasting it on non-work related activities such as gossiping, procrastination, mobile usage, etc.
- Use a time tracking tool to know where all your time is going in a day.
- Set timeframes for different tasks.
- Avoid multitasking.
- Work on important tasks first.
- Eliminate time-wasting activities at work.
- Take regular short breaks.
👉 Implement these tried-and-tested time management strategies at work to achieve more in less.
7. Set clear milestones
Setting clear milestones is important in both personal and professional life. As human beings, we have a habit of shooting for the stars and the same reflects in the goals we set. Now, it’s ok to be a little bold but when it comes to “goals”, it’s much better to think clearly and be realistic.
- Keep your eye on the deadline.
- Save all the important dates on an online calendar.
- Improve your project evaluation skills.
- Treat every milestone as a learning experience.
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8. Set clear and achievable goals
When it comes to goal setting to improve work performance, it needs to be realistic. It means you should set clear and achievable goals after analyzing your capabilities and limitations at work. You might want to be a productivity king, but not without considering how much you can accomplish in a single workday. It’s better to set small goals to stay on track.
For example, instead of setting a goal of completing 10 tasks in 6 days, you can set yourself a target of completing one task efficiently in a day.
- Have SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound).
- Don’t daydream about your goals, jot them down on paper to make them look tangible.
- Arrange your goals in order of importance (write the main goal at the top followed by smaller goals).
- Create an action plan to help you achieve these goals.
- Keep yourself accountable.
👉 Discover SMART goal settings practices for project managers.
9. Stop multitasking, prioritize your work
Multitasking doesn’t make you productive, and only 2.5% of people are able to multitask effectively. It’s easy to take on multiple tasks at once, but what it does is distract your focus as you switch between tasks. There are tasks that are complex and call for our undivided attention, but multitasking makes our work prone to mistakes and disrupts our plan to improve work performance.
- Choose to tackle one task at a time.
- Create a daily to-do list.
- Make it clear that you are not going to take additional work while focusing on a particular task.
- Declutter your desk area. Keep it neat and well-organized.
- Do your most challenging work when you’re at your productivity peak.
👉 Use Gantt charts to set task dependencies and adjust plans as work changes and deadlines shift.
10. Conquer difficult tasks first
Ever heard about the idea of “eat that frog?” The idea is to work on the most challenging and important task first as you start your day at work. You should begin immediately on such a task because if you don’t do anything about it, it’s likely to get delayed, which will further add more pressure on you to perform it as you struggle to meet its deadline. Implementing this idea will help you get high-priority work done on time and you can utilize your remaining time on other things.
- Identify your hardest task.
- Break the task down into small, manageable chunks.
- Consult your resources when confusion arises.
- Start immediately without unnecessary delays.
- Get clear on the end result.
👉 Discover 22 best task management tools to help you be a taskmaster like no one else!
11. Finish what you start
Another thing that is likely to affect your productivity and performance at work is leaving things unfinished. Do you remember how many times you’ve started working on something and then abandoned it shortly after? If this often happens to you, then it’s time to change. Don’t make it a habit to leave things in between. If you’ve started a project or task, make sure that it reaches the last, final stage with the utmost quality.
- Set a time estimate for the task.
- Reward yourself on successfully completing a task or project.
- Work on a task at the time of day when you’re most productive.
- Do not work on multiple tasks at once.
👉 Learn how to prioritize work to finish your work on time.
12. Plan your meetings well
Do you know that US businesses waste $37 billion on unproductive meetings? Meetings are powerful, but they should be meticulously planned to get the most out of it. Since planning and scheduling meetings is a common practice in almost every workplace, it’s time you take steps to ensure that unnecessary meetings do not cut into your employees’ productivity time.
Take all the time you need to plan your meetings, but keep them short. Make sure that all the necessary elements are in place before the meeting starts. Set a clear agenda for the meeting and communicate the same to all the participants so that they can come better prepared. Additionally,
- Before sending invites for the meeting, ask yourself if it’s really needed.
- Check everyone’s availability and pick the best time for the meeting.
- Provide as much detail as you can for pre-preparation.
- Save a time slot for a meeting and sum it up in the given time frame.
👉 Inspire your team with best ideas for productive team meetings.
13. Ask for constructive feedback
One sureshot way to improve work performance is to ask for constructive feedback. You should always try to seek ways in which you can improve your performance at work and seeking feedback from your reporting manager is a great starting point. Even if you’re best at what you do, there’s always room for improvement. It’s surprising how we might not be aware of a few shortcomings but others are. It also demonstrates your ability to learn and grow your skills while contributing to the organization’s progress at every stage.
- Find the right time to ask for feedback.
- Schedule a time to meet.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask.
- Take notes during the feedback session.
- Learn what you need to do to improve from the feedback.
- Ask for constructive feedback regularly.
👉 Learn why constructive feedback is important and how to give it.
Other Useful Tips to Make You Productive in the Workplace
14. Minimize stress
How can you expect to improve work performance when you’re under a lot of stress? 41% of workers said stress made them less productive and you certainly shouldn’t be one of them. Agreed, some stress is always part of our job, but you should not let it build on and affect all aspects of your life. You can minimize stress at work by following some smart tips to achieve fine work-life balance.
- Identify situations that trigger the most stress and how you react to them.
- Develop healthy responses – exercising, meditation, yoga, or any other physical activity.
- Establish some work-life boundaries for yourself.
- When possible, take time off to relax and rejuvenate.
- Take help from trusted friends and family members to manage stress effectively.
15. Clear your workspace
You might not even realize how a clean and tidy workspace can do a world of good to your work performance. Clutter is your formidable foe at work and having a bundle of paper files, documents, leftover food, and other waste materials in your workspace distracts you and causes uneasiness and anxiety. Clean workspaces not only help you feel composed at work but also display a sense of high professionalism.
- Clean your work desk regularly.
- Keep a dustbin for discarding waste.
- Color code your folders.
- Throw away unwanted things.
- Add drawers to your desk if there’s a shortage of space.
16. Stay away from office gossip and drama
Office gossip and drama are BIG productivity killers. You need to stay away from all this by maintaining professional conduct when talking to coworkers. Even if a couple of coworkers happen to be your best friends, some topics should not be discussed at work. Office gossiping leads to circulated rumors, which can create rifts between employees and lead to a toxic work environment.
- Creating a safe space to relax and process work-related stress at home.
- Try not to join in the conversation of your co-workers gossiping.
- Separate the personal and professional parts of your life to work efficiently.
- Communicate your feelings in an honest and respectful way.
- Practice being an active listener to avoid misunderstandings.
17. Stay healthy
You cannot improve work performance if you do not have a sound physical and mental health. You are not supposed to work continuously for eight hours at work and your body is not built for that either. The key to staying healthy is to not let work overwhelm you and give yourself adequate rest not just on off days but while at work too.
- Incorporate healthy diet choices in your meals.
- Limit sugary drinks and avoid ultra-processed foods.
- Exercise daily.
- Take frequent short breaks at work.
- Don’t take your work home.
- Maintain good body posture when using computers.
18. Acknowledge weak spots and improve
When it comes to individuals, perfection doesn’t exist. We all are a work-in-progress; learning new things daily. We have our strengths and weaknesses too. The key is to acknowledge weaknesses and make efforts to improve them. In this competitive age, you have to try your best to be a nearly complete package for progressive organizations.
- Identify and list your weaknesses.
- Outline a plan for professional development.
- Commit yourself to a timeline of goals.
- Ask for help from colleagues who are relatively strong in areas you lag behind.
- Measure results and hold yourself accountable.
19. Ask questions
Whether you’re a newbie or a season pro, it’s likely that your mind conjures up a lot of questions about a particular task or project. Many people don’t ask questions to their colleagues and their doubts or issues remain unsolved. However, you should feel confident in asking questions and clearing your doubts the moment you feel uncertain. This approach will help you get much needed clarity and reduce any chances of misunderstanding or conflicts with your peers or seniors at the workplace.
- List down questions you need to ask.
- Identify the person who is in the best position to answer your questions precisely.
- Approach the person and discuss your queries.
20. Take part in regular training sessions
Participating in skills development training sessions is counted among the best ways to improve work performance. Many organizations organize regular training sessions for employee’s professional and personal development. You should utilize this opportunity to hone your current skills as well as learn and add new competencies to your arsenal.
- Show your interest in learning new skills through training and development sessions.
- You can also enroll in online training sessions to improve your skills.
21. Build working relationships and connections
Cultivating strong working relationships with your colleagues at work is important when it comes to team collaboration on tasks and projects. When you have cordial relationships with peers, it creates a positive impact on your confidence and there are better chances of improving work performance. Try to have frequent conversations with colleagues not just regarding work but personal interests too, which will help you understand them better.
- Take out time for your coworkers.
- Show gratitude, but skip the gossip.
- Practice active listening.
- Ask for help and be ready to help too.
- Be consistent and trustworthy.
22. Learn to say “no”
Feeling obliged to your peers at work is a common scenario. They ask you to work on some task and you nod in approval simply because saying “no” might make them feel offended. However, when you take on more work than what you already have in your hands, it’s likely to hamper your efficiency and productivity. You should realize that saying yes to everything is not always in your best interest.
- Be both assertive and polite.
- Suggest an alternative.
- Acknowledge the other person.
- Know your priorities and communicate them.
- Build trust with your boss and colleagues.
23. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses
There’s no way for you to be perfect in everything. We all have weak spots and it’s important to acknowledge them in order to identify improvement opportunities. Additionally, every individual has his/her own strengths i.e something that they are exceptionally good at. Now, in order to bring improvement to your everyday work performance, you need to cherish your strengths and overcome your weaknesses at the same time.
- Find patterns in your performance
- Decide what you enjoy the most at work
- Practice Reflective Best Self (RBS) exercises – find out what other people think about you
- Make a note of how you respond to situations that require action, thought, and insight
24. Be aware of your limitations
While it’s certainly important to constantly find a way to polish the areas you are not doing so well, it is also important to be aware of your own limitations. Never fall victim to habits like multitasking or procrastination. Work on one task at a time and do everything to keep it less stressed and less prone to mistakes or rework. Keep things clear in your head and you will be able to accomplish much more than expected, much faster.
- Say “no” and keep the peace
- Back off when things get relentless
- Don’t be too ambitious, be realistic
- Discover your sweet spot and avoid burnout
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It’s important to improve work performance in your job role and you should continuously strive to be more efficient and productive. The article lists twenty-four proven ways that will help you excel in your performance without taking undue stress or uneven workload. As your performance improves, it is noticed by everyone in the organization, and you get in line for raises and promotions. Remember, it’s more about doing things smarter than harder! Good luck!
How do you improve work performance?
You can improve work performance by using a top project management and team collaboration software for better organization and execution of work.
What are the top 3 ways to improve on performance of work?
Top three ways to improve on performance of work are as follows:
1. Learn to say “no”.
2. Prioritize work.
3. Ask for feedback.
How can someone improve their work performance?
1. Time management
5. Teamwork and collaboration